From Salon.com (subscription required or Day Pass):
Avenging angel of the religious right
Quirky millionaire Howard Ahmanson Jr. is on a mission from God to stop gay marriage, fight evolution, defeat “liberal” churches — and reelect George W. Bush.
His money has made possible some of the most pivotal conservative movements in America’s recent history, including the 1994 GOP takeover of the California Legislature, a ban on gay marriage and affirmative action in California, and the mounting nationwide campaign to prove Darwin wrong about evolution. His financial influence also helped propel the recent campaign to recall California Gov. Gray Davis. And besides contributing cash to George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign, Ahmanson has played an important role in driving Bush’s domestic agenda by financing the career of Marvin Olasky, a conservative intellectual whose ideas inspired the creation of the new White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.
It’s these behind-the-scene recluses that creep me out more than the blatant thugs like Tom DeLay or Karl Rove. After all, dictatorships don’t just rise on ideology; they need financial backers. Remember the Krupps?